Pescador

We have a new parishioner, a university post-doc from Poland. She has ample singing experience in some really fine choirs in her native land as well as Scotland. Last week she mentioned her famous countryman’s favorite liturgical song, and look here: an illustrative discussion on it appears at PrayTell.

The protest began, but commenter Adam Wood has the true measure of the piece:

The song isn’t Mariachi. The composer was Spanish, not Mexican. Of course, you can do a Mariachi arrangement (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ5xJDOZbhA), but that’s not a natural style for the piece.

Agreed. If a church musician finds himself or herself slipping into such a style, it’s indicative more of artistic laziness than any defect of the music. It’s true. You can give me almost any serious piece of music, and I can fabricate a parody if I put my mind to it. PDQ Bach could, of course, render even more hilarity from an attempt.

I like singing Pescador in Spanish. I think the text and melody both are sturdy and wear well. It probably takes better musicians to piece together a tasteful accompaniment, but I’d say it’s a worthwhile effort. I can’t say I’ve ever lapsed into pseudo-Mariachi in arranging it for an ensemble. But maybe not every church musician is up to the task.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Liturgical Music, Songlist. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pescador

  1. Michael says:

    I’ve never heard it done better than with simple guitar accompaniment.

  2. John Donaghy says:

    I fondly remember how well “Pescador” was often sung at Thursday Night Liturgy at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ames. I remember one time when I returned for a visit when Todd played the hammered dulcimer with it. It was extremely moving.
    Today I ran into a rock version by a Catalan “cura rocker” (rock priest) http://iglesiadescalza.blogspot.com/2010/02/padre-jony-video-2-pescador-de-hombres.html
    I really don’t like that version.
    Incidentally, it is often sung – or mis-sung here in Honduras. Somehow some groups get the chorus wrong.
    Also, there are two English versions. I prefer the translation used in Gather. The OCP version feels poetically “flat” to me.

  3. Tony says:

    A former choir director used this piece. He was wont to cross out “him” for God and pencil in “her”.

    I sang it. I didn’t like it, but I did the best I could and offered it up for the souls in purgatory.

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    How is this a parody of anything?

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